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Fashion brands to tackle climate change

Six major fashion brands have joined the SBTI, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and bring global warming to below 2°C. The SBTI now has over 300 companies signed up to the initiative, and claims the fashion brands have the potential to reduce their 750 million tonnes of emissions per year, in line with the goals of Paris agreement.

So far, the fashion brands to have completed their targets are: Kering and Marks & Spencer. Kering commits to reduce emissions from upstream transportation and distribution, business air travel, and fuel and energy use by 50 per cent per unit of value added by 2025, from a 2015 base-year. The company says it is also committed to curb emissions from purchased goods and services by 40 per cent per unit of value added within the same timeframe.

Marks & Spencer has committed to reduce emissions from operations by 80 per cent by 2030, and has a longer-term vision to achieve 90 per cent emissions reductions by 2035, from a 2007 base-year. In addition, the company commits to reduce value chain emissions by 13.3 megatonnes of CO2 between 2017 and 2030. According to SBTI scientists identifying the reduction goal in line with a notion of keeping global temperature increases below 2°C. 71 of over 300 SBTI companies have already had their targets independently verified.

Cynthia Cummis, Member of the Science Based Targets Initiative steering committee says the fashion industry is known for innovation and these companies are using that spirit to tackle climate change. Setting ambitious value chain targets will open up a great deal of opportunity for collaboration, innovation and efficiency across the industry.

UN Global Compact chief of programmes, Lila Karbassi adds more and more companies see the advantages of setting science-based targets, the transition towards a low-carbon economy is becoming a reality. Businesses now working towards ambitious targets are seeing benefits like increased innovation, cost savings, improved investor confidence and reduced regulatory uncertainty.